There’s A Game Called ‘Hide And Seek’ But You Don’t Play For Fun, You Play To Stay Alive

Porsche Brosseau

Thoughts are racing through my mind as I sit in my house writing to you guys. It was just a stupid game at first, but Hide or Seek has made me responsible for a death. A death of a woman I didn’t even know two days ago.

The game didn’t take the same name as the game that we all know.

Instead, it went by the name of Hide or Seek. It was a game that was advertised in one of those stupid Facebook ads. Honestly, the only reason why I downloaded the app in the first place is because in the description it talked about how you could make up to $20k a week. I thought about looking it up online but decided to just download the app and check out what it did.

A couple of minutes later, I got the notification that the app was done downloading. The app popped up on my home screen and I took a look at the little icon. It was of two small stick figures. One was wearing a shirt with an H and the other figure was wearing a shirt with an S. The figure with the H shirt was looking in the opposite direction of the S figure. I rolled my eyes at the cheesy miniature picture before clicking on it and the screen went completely black.

It didn’t do anything for a little more than a minute. I started to get eager so I started to tap on the screen a couple of times before two options popped up on the screen.



I thought back to my old childhood days and tried to remember if I was a better seeker or hider. I couldn’t really remember so I chose to Seek since it seemed like it would be a little more fun. The background burst into a bright yellow light before going back to a black screen.

A couple of seconds later, the word “Rules” popped up in the top. Words started to fill the screen with “Continue” written on the bottom. I still remember what the rules are.

1) The time limit is now your god.

2) If you fail to find the hider, you and the hider will not receive the prize.

3) Three strikes and you’re out. No exceptions.

4) Do not tell anyone that could disrupt Hide or Seek about the game. That will result in an instant disqualification.

5) You cannot quit the game you started once you click continue. You will be given a challenge at the same time you always do. See rule 3.

6) You will be given your challenges and information about the seeker on your Facebook profile. If you choose to block our account, that will result in a disqualification.

7) $3,000 dollars will be given to both the hider and the seeker when the seeker finds the hider before the 24 hour period. You cannot message each other if you manage to find the identity of each other. The seeker will not be allowed to move from where they are. So it is completely up to you.

8) The game will end once you hit 7 finds. You will have the option to continue if you choose to do so.

With my heart beating slightly faster from the excitement, I tapped on continue and eagerly waited for the next screen to pop up.

A multi-colored small ball appeared in the middle of the screen and started to spin quickly. It stopped on the color blue and the screen started to zoom in on the ball. The screen was soon filled with the color blue before it closed down and opened up my Facebook Messenger app. A message from Seekers was at the top of my chat list. I clicked on the message and saw that there was a video. Nervously, I clicked on the video and my screen soon showed me a balding man in a blue shirt and white swimming trunks sitting by a pool. Shit, not just any pool. It was the pool that was in the apartment complex about 2 miles away from my house. Yes, it did creep the fuck out of me, but it also made me just that much more curious.

Without a second thought, I ran out of my house and got into my car before peeling out of my driveway and drove towards the pool. When I got into the entrance to the apartment, I parked my car in the parking lot and got out of my car. I started to get nervous and thought about just getting back into my car and going back to my house, but I quickly convinced myself to just go to the pool to just verify that the app was a complete joke.

Slowly, I walked behind the apartment and towards the pool. A lump started to grow in my throat when I saw a man swimming in the pool and a yellow t-shirt lying on the seat by the pool. When I walked up to the pool and opened up the small gate, the man in the pool looked up at me and gave me a grin before saying, “You’re Clint right? Shit man. That was quick as hell. I thought I was trapped in this goddamn pool for the next 24 hours!”

I nodded my head before saying, “Yeah man. I recognized the pool because I used to come here with my ex. Is this your first time?”

He shook his head and gave me an even bigger smile before saying, “No, this is my third person to find me. Don’t worry. You’ll get your money. I don’t know how, but they managed to get it in my bank account even though I never told them what any of my bank information was. Anyways, this is the first time I have almost a whole day to myself since I started, so I’m going to go back home and relax. Good luck, man. I know for a fact that the last thing you want to do is get disqualified.”

He got out of the pool and put his arm on my shoulder before grabbing his shirt and walking away. I tried calling out to him and running towards him, but he looked back at me with a sad expression on his face before running as quickly as he could into his car and driving away.

The rest of the day, I sat on the couch in my living room and thought about what I should do. I checked my bank account and saw that I received a deposit from “Seekers” for three thousand dollars. The money definitely did make me happy, but I couldn’t get what the man told me before running to his car. Before I went to bed, I texted my manager and told him I wouldn’t be able to come into work for the rest of the week due to family issues, and decided to keep going on with the game.

The next morning I woke up around 11. I was in the middle of my shower when I heard the familiar sound of my phone alerting me that I had a new Facebook message. Quickly, I finished up my shower and grabbed my phone while I was drying off. I turned on my phone and saw that it was a new message from Seekers. I tapped on the notification before swiping out of my lock screen and saw that there was a new video. Without a second thought, my thumb tapped on the video and I saw a woman sitting on the sidewalk outside of the movie theater. She had her head on her hands and her shoulders were shaking. I almost dropped the phone out of my hands when she lifted up her head.

Tears were falling down her face, but otherwise, she was completely emotionless. Her eyes had a bored look to it and her lips were pressed firmly against each other. That wouldn’t normally creep me out, but the large gash that ran from her forehead, down her right cheek, and to the beginning of her neck almost made me throw up. She slowly looked towards the center of the video and it felt like she locked her eyes with me before rage filled her face and she stood up and started to scream. My volume was all of the way up and I could hear her, but she wasn’t saying anything that made sense. It was just a series of pure anger.

I closed out of the app and threw my phone on my bed.

For the next four hours, I couldn’t bring myself to go. I just couldn’t go. I knew where the movie theater was, but I didn’t even know what the woman would do to me when she saw me or if the people that cut up the woman’s face would do something worse to me. Shit, the movie theater was about an hour away from me. I knew almost everything about it because it was the one I used to go to with my father. I never really understood why we didn’t just go to the one that was fifteen minutes away, but he always told me that he felt like the chairs were more comfortable and the popcorn was the best he had ever tasted.

I was sitting down at my dining room table when I heard my phone go off in my bedroom. With a sigh, I got up from the table and walked to the room and checked my phone. It was a new message from Seekers. I opened up the messenger and clicked on the new video. It was of the woman, but she looked completely normal. She was in a car wearing a white button down and black skirt. A small girl was sitting in the passenger seat next to her asking about where they were going to stay that night. The woman bent down and kissed her before telling her that she would have it all figured out before she got off of school. The girl gave her a smile before running up to her school. The woman let out a small sigh before driving away. The video cut out and a new message was underneath the video.

“Do you want her to get disqualified? She is at two failures already and just one away from seeing her daughter again with 21k in the bank. Don’t do this to her. Don’t do this to her daughter. You know where this is. Make the money for both you and her.”

A 45-minute drive later, I parked at the theater and saw the woman sitting on the sidewalk. Her face was on her hands and people were just walking past her without giving her a second look. I walked up to her and watched her silently sob. I didn’t really know what to do. With a shaking hand, I tapped her on her shoulder and quietly said,

“Hey. You’re fine now. Go to the doctor take care of yourself and then take care of your daughter.”

She slowly looked up at me and with blood dripping down her face she spat out,

“You don’t fucking understand this shit yet, do you? They made me kill my daughter. It was either kill her or never be found. I wish I could have just chosen to die, but they managed to convince me to value my life over hers. They broke me down to nothing and brought out every sense of my survival instincts. They don’t care about us. As long as they get their money from the watchers they could care less about our lives. I bet they fucking showed you the video of me dropping off my daughter off at the school like they did everyone else. That shit is a goddamn lie. I just wish I never started this stupid game. You’re new to this. I can tell. Get out now. Accept the death. This shit isn’t worth it. Die a decent human being. You seem like a decent human. I don’t want to die, but I feel like warning you is enough for me to give up my life.”

That was the last words she said before a loud crack sounded and her head jerked back. She fell over backward and her head was now a mangled mess of skull fragments, brain matter, and small bits of flesh.

I know I’m a coward. I should have tried to figure out what the fuck was going on, but I ran away as fast as I could into my car and drove back home.

I won’t call the cops or break any of the rules. Hell, I hope to everything that posting on here is breaking the rules, but I figured as long as I tell you guys to not contact any type of law enforcement. I just want some hints or clues you guys may have. Have you ever had any type of experience with this type of thing?

My name is Clint, and I will probably be dead soon.

This morning was a clusterfuck of emotions. Have you ever had one of those dreams that are so good you wish you could stay asleep forever? Then when you wake up. Poof. Every strand of memory about the dream is gone. You’re just left there. Sitting on your bed. Pissed off. That’s how I woke up. Instinctively, I grabbed my phone from the side table and tapped on the power button. There was a message from Seekers on my phone. It was a new video along with a new emotion that overtook my body.


I took a couple of deep breaths before I tapped on the notification and swiped to the right on the screen. My home screen popped up momentarily before being overtaken by my messenger. Behind the play logo on the video showed the scared face of the woman from yesterday and her suffering daughter. There it was. The next emotion. Absolute fucking confusion. Why were they sending me another video about her? I tapped on the screen and silently watched the video.

The woman and daughter were wearing the same exact white shirt and brown shorts. The daughter looked up at her mother and said, “I’m hungry. You told me we were going to eat, but we don’t have anything. You promised.”

The mother looked down at her daughter with tears falling down her cheeks and while brushing her daughter’s face she said, “I know honey. We are only going to be here for a little longer and then I will give you anything you want. How about that? All of the pancakes you could possibly eat.”

The daughter looked up at her mother and gave a brave nod before sitting on the floor. Out of nowhere, a voice filled the room through a speaker in the ceiling with a short command. “Open the door slowly. You will find some food for your daughter. Hand the tray of food to her and sit on the ground while you watch her eat. If you eat any of it, we will kill you.”

A soft knock came from the right side of the video. The woman got up and walked out of the screen, and a couple of seconds later, I heard a soft squeak followed by the sound of a door slamming shut.

The woman walked up to her daughter and laid the tray of food in front of her. Three pancakes with a generous amount of syrup and fruits. The daughter greedily looked at the food before looking up at the woman and asked, “Do you want some? I can’t eat it all.”

The woman shook her head before choking out in between tears, “Don’t worry about me, honey. I’m full. You go ahead and eat it. Enjoy it.”

The girl gave her mother a slow nod before devouring bite after bite of food. She stopped when she got about halfway through her meal and looked up at her mother with a cheeky grin.

She said, “It’s so good momma. You sure you…”

Her head rolled back and her body started to shake as foam slowly started to seep out of her mouth. The woman jumped to her feet and started to run up to her daughter when the same voice screamed out, “Stop! Don’t go near her. If you do we will shoot both of you down. Stay still and wait till I give you the next step.”

She ignored the man and ran up to her daughter and started shaking her while asking her to open her eyes. A loud sigh filled the room and the man softly said, “Kill her. If you do we will let you out. If you don’t, you will both die. She will die first and you will have to sit in the same room as your daughter until death takes you away.”

The woman looked up at the ceiling and started to plead, “Please. I will do anything else. Just don’t let her die. She is everything to me. I would rather die. Just. Just let her live. I’ll do anything you ask me to do.”

She slammed her head down on the floor next to her daughter and started to weep when the man slowly whispered through the speaker, “There isn’t another option. You either die in here with your daughter or you can finish the game and live your life. Shit, have another daughter, but those are your only two choices.”

The video cut out for a second and went completely black before coming back on with the image of the woman standing in front of her daughter. Her face was a mixture of grief and complete rage. She let out a scream before falling to her knees and putting her hands over her daughter’s throat.

Last emotions. A mixture of absolute fucking sadness, anger, and above all else, fear.

The video cut out and I was staring at the new message from Seekers. “We control your life now. You can’t escape us unless you want to die. You are our property. You are the entertainment for over 55,000 viewers. Don’t fuck up. It will cost your life along with anyone that is important to you. Follow our instructions and everything will be fine.”

I closed out of the messenger app and sat on my bed for over an hour before I found the will to get out of bed and I walked over to the living room and sat on my couch before grabbing the remote and turning on the tv. I browsed through every single news channel, but I couldn’t find anything about a lady being shot in front of a movie theater. I mean, shit, the top news story of the day was about how some fucking dog from our city managed to win some uppity dog show. My phone vibrated in my pocket and I quickly took it out and saw another message from the Seekers.

It was a photo of a man in a blue button-down shirt and khaki pants that looked to be in his early twenties. He was standing in the middle of the bowling alley that was about 20 minutes away from me. I quickly grabbed my things and drove as quickly as I could to the bowling alley.

I was past being scared or nervous about meeting the Hiders. Shit, they were in it just as much as I was. It was the bowling alley I used to go with my best friend from middle school. His name was Bradley, and he was the first kid to talk to me when I first walked into class in 1st grade. We quickly became friends and stayed friends until the sophomore year of high school when he hung himself after his parents went through a divorce.

We used to come here every Saturday and take advantage of dollar bowling night. It was the one thing I truly looked forward to every single week. Even when we were in high school and we didn’t have any classes together, we made sure we reserved a four-hour slot for each other on Saturday to go bowling. I loved the shit out of him. He was the brother I wished I had, but yeah, he’s gone and I tried avoiding this bowling alley as much as I could.

I walked into the building and got into the elevator before going up to the fifth floor. When the elevator doors opened, I was hit with the familiar smell of the nachos Bradley and I used to get every time we came here along with chili hot dogs and semi-dry pizza slices. I ignored the intrusive thoughts and made my way to the man in the blue button down shirt. When I walked up to him, he was holding the bowling ball in between his two hands.

Without looking at me or turning around he said, “Well, that didn’t take you long. Hold on. I’m gonna get a strike for you.” Confidently, he made his way up and threw the ball down and it managed to get halfway before falling into the gutter.

His shoulders dropped and he let out an exasperated sigh before turning to me and saying, “You never know what the fuck these balls are going to do. I blame it on shitty oiling and maintenance. Anyways, my name is Jared and I’m here to be your guide of some sort. Basically, I will try to keep you from doing dumb shit like your little lady friend from yesterday. Actually, a good buddy of mine named Elijah is running this whole thing. He usually does a different game, but he decided to branch out to other types of games. This being one of a couple he has created. Do you want me to…”

I cut him off and blurted out, “Why the fuck are you guys doing this to us? Why would you help such an evil man with a game like this? This shit isn’t even a game. It’s causing mothers to kill their daughters. It’s killing people off when they fail.”

He put his hands up and grinned before saying, “Oh, don’t get me started on fucked up games. I ate several bites of my sister to get half a million dollars. So stop the fucking complaining. This is for your life, and I am here to help you win.”

He came with me to my house and he didn’t say a single word to me. He just sat on my couch and around 10 pm he lied down and fell asleep. I threw a blanket over him and walked into my room absolutely exhausted.

I woke up to a bright light and the sound of thunder almost immediately after the lightning. I don’t know why, but I called my mother and heard my mother’s groggy voice say, “Hello? Honey, are you alright? It’s 3 in the morning.”

At the sound of my mother’s voice, I instantly fell into sobs and told her I was scared. After a couple of seconds of crying into the phone my mother talked to me in the same voice she talked to me whenever I ran into their room after a nightmare.

“Shhh. Honey. You’re fine. Don’t worry. Look. Look out the window.”

I stared out the window until the sky illuminated in a soft blue light. I let out a squeak and she quietly said. “Count with me. One. Two. Three. Four.” The loud sound of thunder came and she confidently said, “Look at that. Four. Four miles away. You couldn’t be any safer. Here. I’ll stay on the phone until the storm passes. How about that?”

I choked out a thank you and stayed on the phone with her for the next twenty minutes. That was twenty minutes of my mother I absolutely needed. My phone buzzed. I looked at my phone and saw it was a message from the seekers. It said, “Tell her goodbye.” Before I could message it back and ask what it meant, the loud sound of thunder came from the other side of the phone call, and the call disconnected. I tried calling her back several times, but it kept going to voicemail.

I couldn’t hold it back any longer. The whole day, I was filled with fear, sadness, anger, and I was constantly worried if I would manage to be able to come out of this alive. Tears erupted from my eyes and I couldn’t stop the sobs that escaped my throat and out of my mouth.

When I finally sat up and fully opened my eyes, I looked out the window. It looked like it was morning. A soft orange light filled the closed blinds. I slowly lifted the blinds and all I saw was the illuminated part of my city in flames. The part of town I moved away from. The part of town my parents lived in. I received one last message from the seekers that night.

“We told you to say your goodbyes. After all, it’s the last conversation you will have with her or your father. Go to sleep. We would hate for you to get a strike from waking up too late.”

Today was a clusterfuck of emotions. It started in the morning, and it didn’t stop.

Sad about the woman and her daughter. Worried about how I will manage to get out of this game alive. Scared about the thought of me or anyone else that was close to me losing our life. Fucking mad, scared, sad about losing my parents, and how the seekers knew they were going to die. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Ha-Yong Bak is an editor for a conference organizing company, an author, and a person that likes to get demolished at basketball.

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